Gliding back to Chicagoland for a limited eight performance engagement, Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice Dream Big is jammed packed with all the familiar trimmings. A fast paced ice-dancing program featuring nine of Disney’s most famous princesses and one popular queen for good measure. The audience was filled with little girls dressed as their favorites. From Aurora to Ariel, Belle to Rapunzel, and of course those mighty sisters from Arendelle, this crowd was primed to see their animated favorites brought to life, gliding across the ice. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know an arabesques from a Biellmann spin, the familiar Disney magic packed the Allstate Arena. Director Patty Vincent pulled the metaphoric strings to this magical introduction to live theater for many an under-aged audience member. Blending the dreams of Disney’s most popular heroines with determination and Cindy Stuart’s strong choreography, Disney on Ice Dream Big was a memorizing and athletic undertaking for the entire family to enjoy.
The evening began with popular pixie Tinker Bell and Micky and Minnie Mouse laying the groundwork for the show. Weaving together a series of short skating programs told through segments of Disney’s most popular tales.
Swinging in over 30 feet above the ice, Aladdin joined Princess Jasmine and the Genie of the lamp through a series of routines told to the familiar soundtrack of “Never Had a Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World.” Not to be outdone, Beauty and the Beast’s Belle was joined by 12 silverware skating kick-line supporting players to the tune ‘Be Our Guest.” Tangled’s Rapunzel and Flynn Rider next demonstrated dazzling and gravity defying pair lifts. Speaking of dazzling, the impressive 30 foot, fire breathing dragon from Sleeping Beauty’s vignette captured the audience’s attention. Fairies Flora, Fauna and Merriweather aided Prince Phillip in defeating the villainous Maleficent before he and Aurora entertained with their own romantic couple skate.
The first act concluded with a trip “Under The Sea” where a cartwheeling Sebastian lead the teeter-totter acrobatics of Prince Eric and his crew along with that curious Little Mermaid, Ariel. Joining them on the ice, over 20 additional skaters each adorned in Gregory A. Poplyk’s highly imaginative costumes. Even baddie Ursula’s tentacles proved engaging. Disney’s first animated classic, Snow White’s The Seven Dwarves drew some of the loudest applause from the crowds.
Cinderella’s ball featured over a dozen skaters, her two evil step sisters and a carriage featuring over 2,000 lights adorning the exterior. Her couple skate with her charming prince also proved ethereal. Tiana, from the contemporary hit, The Princess and the Frog, demonstrated powerful jump combinations to a soundtrack straight from the New Orleans Bayou.
Saving the biggest bang for the ending, the sisters of Frozen next took to the ice. Anna and Elsa continue their reign as the Queen (and Princess) capturing the imagination of all in attendance. Complex and powerful jumps in unison thoroughly impressed. Of course, the highlight was the transformation of Elsa during “Let It Go’s” solo skate. Snowman Olaf added laughs to the Queen’s coronation day. While there were several little one’s dressed as Anna and Elsa in attendance, I was surprised at the amount of mother’s belting out “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” and “Love Is An Open Door” right along with the skaters. The universal appeal of the Oscar Award-winning soundtrack remained firmly on display the night I attended.
When it comes to family outings, Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice Dream Big continues to deliver. Their long tradition of fun-filled, eye catching recreations of Disney classics on ice packed as much punch as any amount of pixie-dust sprinkled by Tinker Bell. The Disney magic is alive and well. As an escape, you’ll find Feld’s latest simply dreamy.
Disney on Ice Dream Big is now playing Allstate Arena through October 1, 2017